Steve McClaren says he has no ambition other than to succeed at Newcastle United.
The club’s new head coach admits he always had one eye on the future when he started out in management at Middlesbrough.
You want to come back in the Premier League and if you want to pick a club, there are not many as big as Newcastle United in terms of potential.Steve McClaren
Ambitous McClaren went on to take the England job.
But he lasted just 16 months in the post, and he eventually took charge of FC Twente in Holland, where he started to rebuild his reputation with an Eredivisie title win.
McClaren – who was once assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – no longer has a career path at the back of his mind.
Instead, he isn’t looking beyond reviving Newcastle, having taken charge a matter of weeks after the club narrowly clung on to its Premier League status.
“This is it – it is Newcastle United,” said McClaren ahead of tomorrow’s season-opener against Southampton at St James’s Park (1.30pm kick-off).
“You want to come back in the Premier League, and if you want to pick a club, there are not many as big as Newcastle United in terms of potential.
“Wherever you go, you want to make it work. That’s the difference.
“Before, it was drive and ambition and everything, now it is ‘let’s do the job’. That is what I want to do.
“Wherever I have been since then (Middlesbrough and England), I have said ‘that’s it – I just want to do the job here, and not have ambitions for anywhere else’, and so I am here.”
McClaren feels he has matured as a coach since he last managing in the Premier League. He also feels his spells abroad with Twente and Wolfsburg will help him in his dealings with Newcastle’s foreign players.
“I’m totally different,” he said. “How? I don’t really know, but I’m totally different – purely through all the experiences.
“I have had lots of highs and lots of peaks and lots of troughs, and I want to make this another peak ... to come back and use all the experiences that I have been through.
“You are coming back into a Premier League pretty much the same as it was before – full of foreign managers and foreign players – and I think my experience working abroad as helped me with those relationships as well.”